Be honest with yourself first, then with others

It’s one thing to pretend to others. Then what we usually do is we pretend that we’re not pretending. We actually argue to prove a point that it’s not so. Of course I love you. Of course I’m not interested in other women. Never look at them, never would. Then comes the test – in the form of a raised eyebrow, perhaps – and we go, ‘No, I’m not just saying it, I really mean it.’

More astonishing than this, is how we actually try to convince ourselves that it’s true. I’m happily married, we’ll argue, inside the privacy of our own head, late at night. I love my staff and I’d be sad if any of them ever left. Actually, half the time it’s not true, or it’s not 100% true, but admitting that to ourselves would seem too terrible. Firstly, we tell ourselves, it would mean I’m a terrible person. Secondly, it could mean I’d have to do something about it. As to the first point, please check: who’s the embodiment of the voice in your head? The very person who you’re trying to cover up in front of? Or maybe it’s still your mother! If so, time to grow up, wouldn’t you say?

It is possible to be completely honest –
 if you can bear the consequences

Of course, when it comes to pretending and covering up, we ask, could life be any other way? In fact it can. It is possible to be completely honest, firstly with yourself, then with others. It’s a lofty level of being – it means being centred within yourself and willing to bear the consequences of your every utterance. One of the most powerful and liberating things a man can do is to admit his true thoughts and feelings to himself – and then, if he can find the courage, to act on them.